300 East Wayne Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 422-4681

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Pastor Jason Morris

Embracing the ‘new thing’

“Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it spouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.” (Isaiah 43:19, CEB)

Olu Brown recently shared that he believes we are living in the greatest evangelistic season of our lifetime. When looking at demographic reports, it’s difficult to argue with Brown’s observation.

The Pew Research Center has shared that 63% of the US population identify as Christian. While that is still a majority, that number is down from 75% just a decade ago. During that same time period, those who self-identify as having no religious affiliation (often referred to as “the nones”) account for 29% of our population. That number is up from 19% just a decade ago.

These numbers indicate that the field is ripe for the harvest! If roughly 3 out of 10 of our neighbors have no religious affiliation, that means we have more people we can share the love, grace and hope of Jesus with! Yes, the numbers are heading in the wrong direction. But, they provide us with an incredible opportunity to be the Church. As the people called Methodists, we have a mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Today, we have greater opportunities to reach people for Jesus than ever before!

Given the decline of Christianity and the rise of the nones, we have to assess how we are attempting to reach those beyond our walls. You see, if “the way we’ve always done things” was an effective evangelistic tool, churches around the nation would be bursting at the seams.

I believe we are at a time when God is inviting us to prayerfully consider what the “new thing” is at First Wayne Street. I believe God is inviting us to be open to the “new thing,” to be willing to try, to fail … and to even be willing to succeed! I believe God is calling us to open our hearts and minds so that we will recognize the “new thing” God is inviting us to participate in.

While I might not have a clear picture on what that “new thing” is right now, I do know that God is calling us to be faithful to the mission. God is calling First Wayne Street to be a church committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of Fort Wayne and the world as we love God and love people by serving together. God is calling us to create a community of faith where hope is found, healing takes place and transformation happens. 

God is calling us to place a high value on authenticity, creativity, community, inclusiveness, joy, missional service and peacemaking.

Are we open to the “new thing” God desires to do at First Wayne Street? Will we “recognize” that “new thing” as God “makes a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness?”

— Pastor Jason Morris